Wedding Reception Music Suggestions

  • Cocktail Hour Music
  • Grand Entrance
  • Dinner Music
  • The First Dance
  • Father and Daughter Dance
  • Mother and Son Dance
  • Anniversary Dance
  • Open Dance Requests
  • Slow Dance Requests
  • Bouquet Toss
  • Garter Toss
  • Cutting of the cake

  • Cocktail Hour Music

    Cocktail hour glasses
    Your guests just witnessed a joyful union and can’t wait to celebrate with you! The newly wedded couple is usually off taking formal photos with the bridal party and family. Whether you call it cocktail hour, social hour, or happy hour… can definitely compliment the mood while your guests mingle amongst one another and explore your reception space. Here are a few genres and artists that you may fit your style.

    Indie Folk/Rock – Imagine Dragons, Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Michael Franti and The Spearheads, Iron & Wine, Fleet Foxes, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Of Monsters and Men

    Singer/Song Writer – Ed Sheeran, Feist, Ingrid Michaelson, Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Norah Jones, Ray LaMontagne, Sara Bareilles, Amos Lee, Damien Rice, José Gonzáles

    New Country – Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Josh Turner, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Kelsea Ballerini

    90’s Country – Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, Shania Twain, John Michael Montgomery, Tracy Lawrence

    Neo Soul – Maxwell, Musiq Soulchild, India-Arie, Raphael Saadiq, Anthony Hamilton, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Jill Scott

    Classic Soul/Motown – Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, James Brown, Al Green, Ray Charles, Etta James

    The Crooners – Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé, Harry Connick Jr., Bobby Darin, Steve Tyrell, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Rod Stewart

    Classic Jazz – Miles Davis, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Dave Brubesck, Chet Baker, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald

    Smooth Jazz – Boney James, George Benson, Fourplay, Eric Essix, Dave Koz, Brian Culbertson, David Sanborn, Chris Botti, Gerald Albright

    Bossa Nova Covers – Brazilian type jazz fused with today’s popular music.

    Beegie Adair & Friends – a great selection of mostly light instrumental jazz to include covers of American standards and classics.

    Grand Entrance

    Kick off your reception with a fun and light hearted song that speaks volumes. A great song, introductions announced, and maybe a few dance steps from those involved can make for an exciting moment. Here are a few songs that may spark some ideas!

    • Raise You Glass – Pink
    • Hand Clap – Fitz and the Tantrums
    • Crazy in Love – Beyonce
    • Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake
    • Best Day of My Life – American Authors
    • Stand By You – Rachel Platten
    • I Choose You – Sara Barielles
    • 24K Magic – Bruno Mars
    • On Top of The World – Imagine Dragons
    • I’m All yours – Jay Sean feat. Pitbill
    • Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
    • The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson

    Dinner Music

    Continue the vibe from your cocktail hour and transition to a more lighter tempo for a more relaxed feel as your guests enjoy dinner and engage in conversation. Dinner music can include more dinner appropriate selections from Cocktail hour or can be entire different genre.

    The First Dance

    Wedding First Dance at The Albatross - Settler's Bay Lodge - Photo credit Sugar Six Photography
    This is the time where the bride and groom take to dance floor for their first celebratory dance as husband and wife. Many of our clients have taken dance lessons to show off some great dance moves. Some of these dances involved the waltz, foxtrot, merengue, or even west coast swing. We have also seen a normal “slow dance”, which has now become the norm.

    There will be a decided time to formally open the dance floor. You may find that your guests may feel that it is not right to dance until the couple has had their first dance as husband and wife. We have seen the

    There are 2 different times of the reception schedule where this normally takes place.

    The most common time is performed after the dinner meal and toasting. Since the dance floor is usually empty, it makes for a great stage to have all the special dances performed one after the other. The order is generally first dance, father and daughter dance, and the mother and son dance.

    Another option would be to have the first dance follow immediately after the grand entrance/introduction. Then the dinner meal would follow, unless they are doing the toasting next.

    Choosing the perfect song for your first dance can be difficult. We have provided a list of songs to help bring some ideas to the table.

    Adult Contemporary/Popular

    • Can’t Help Falling in Love – Jess Kelner (3:03)
    • I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz (3:59)
    • Everything – Michael Buble (3:33)
    • Marry Me – Train (3:30)
    • When You Love Someone – Bryan Adams (3:39)
    • A Thousand Years – Christina Perri (4:20)
    • Lucky – Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat (3:10)
    • Come Away With Me – Norah Jones (3:18)
    • Into the Mystic – Van Morrison (3:30)
    • At Last – Etta James (3:01)


    • Wanted – Hunter Hayes (3:50)
    • God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton (3:52)
    • Bless The Broken Road – Rascal Flatts (3:47)
    • Then – Brad Paisley (4:17)
    • My Best Friend – Tim McGraw (4:40)
    • Amazed – Lonestar (4:02)
    • I Cross My Heart – George Strait (3:31)
    • Me And You – Kenny Chesney (3:40)
    • It’s Your Love – Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (3:46)
    • Hey Pretty Girl – Kip Moore (3:38)
    • She’s Everything – Brad Paisley (4:27)

    Rock / Acoustic

    • I Have & Always Will – Dave Barnes (4:05)
    • You’re the Reason I come home – Ron Pope (3:35)
    • This Kind of Love – Sister Hazel (3:37)
    • Tangled Up in You – Staind (4:36)
    • Angel – Jack Johnson (2:03)
    • Forever – Ben Harper (3:24)
    • Hold you in my arms – Ray LaMontagne (5:06)
    • You and Me – Dave Matthews Band (4:02)
    • You and Me – Lifehouse (3:17)

    R&B / Soul

    • Real Love – Eric Benet (4:17)
    • So High – John Legend (5:07)
    • You Are – Charlie Wilson (4:09)
    • You & I – Avant & KeKe Wyatt (3:54)
    • 1+1 – Beyonce (4:34)
    • Forever – Jaheim (4:04)
    • Love of My Life – Brian McKnight (4:41)
    • Spend My Life With You – Eric Benet featuring Tamia (4:35)
    • For Always – Tyrese (4:19)
    • When I first saw you – Jamie Foxx ft. Beyonce (3:01)

    The Father and Daughter Dance

    Father and Daughter Dance at Crow Creek Mine
    One of the most sentimental parts of a reception is the father and daughter dance. This dance can well up a few eyes in the crowd. Sometimes these dances may be upbeat, but most of the time they are a slow dance and the songs usually correlate the relationship between the father and daughter.

    We have performed many father and daughter dances in many different ways. There is the usual type where they dance alone throughout the entire song and there are times where the DJ invites other fathers and daughters to join the bride and her father on the dance floor. This announcement is usually announced around the 2-minute mark of a song to allow for some time alone. Whatever you choose, we know it will be unforgettable! We have provided a small list of songs that may help you in choosing your song.

    • I Loved Her First – Heartland (3:33)
    • My Little Girl – Tim McGraw (3:44)
    • My Wish – Rascal Flatts (4:08)
    • My Girl – Temptations (2:45)
    • Butterfly Kisses – Bob Carlisle (5:41)
    • Butterfly Kisses – Jeff Carson (3:59)
    • What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong (2:19)
    • The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra (3:23)
    • The Way You Look Tonight – Steve Tyrell (4:33)
    • Cinderella – Steven Curtis Chapman (4:25)
    • In My Life – Beatles (2:27)
    • Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder (6:34)
    • Over The Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (3:31)
    • Father And Daughter – Paul Simon (4:10)
    • Walk With You – Edwin McCain (4:35)
    • Unforgettable – Nat King Cole/Natalie Cole (3:28)
    • Unforgettable – Nat King Cole (3:28)
    • Because You Loved – Celine Dion (4:34)
    • It Won’t Be Like This For Long – Darius Rucker (3:35)
    • Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton (3:39)
    • Just Fishin’ – Trace Adkins (3:33)
    • Daughters – John Mayer (3:59)
    • Landslide – Fleetwood Mac (3:19)
    • There You’ll Be – Faith Hill (3:40)
    • Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison (3:11)
    • Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) – Billy Joel (3:30)
    • Daughter – Loudon Wainwright III (3:34)
    • Wildflowers – Tom Petty (3:10)
    • Daddy – Beyonce (4:58)

    The Mother and Son Dance

    Wedding Groom and Mother Dance at Bayshore Clubhouse
    The Mother and Son dance is when the groom will dance with his mother. This dance normally follows immediately after the father and daughter dance.

    Just like the father and daughter dance, we have equally performed many mother and son dances in many different ways. The groom and his mother may dance through an entire song, the DJ may fade out the song at a certain part of the song, or we can encourage other mothers and sons to join them on the dance floor. We want to make sure that your photographer captures your moment alone, so we usually wait until we are half way through the song before inviting others. We have provided a short list of mother and son dance songs that may be a great fit for your wedding.

    • 93 Million Miles – Jason Mraz (3:28)
    • Humble and Kind – Tim McGraw (4:16)
    • My Wish – Rascal Flatts (4:08)
    • A Mother’s Song – T Carter Music (3:31)
    • What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong (2:21)
    • A Song For Mama – Boyz II Men (5:03)
    • Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd (5:20)
    • Simple Man – Shinedown (5:20)
    • In My Life – Beatles (2:27)
    • I Hope You Dance – Lee Ann Womack (4:55)
    • Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion (4:35)
    • You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban (4:50)
    • Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (3:31)
    • Stand By Me – Ben E. King (3:01)
    • Don’t Blink – Kenny Chesney (4:45)
    • That’s What Mamas Do – Jason Matthews (3:59)
    • Forever Young – Rod Stewart (4:06)
    • You Are The Sunshine Of My Life Stevie Wonder (2:52)
    • Have I Told You Lately – Rod Stewart (4:02)
    • Landslide – Fleetwood Mac (3:19)
    • How Sweet It Is – James Taylor (3:39)
    • It’s Your Song – Garth Brooks (4:19)
    • Days Like This – Van Morrison (3:14)
    • You’ll Be In My Heart – Phil Collins (4:18)
    • God Only Knows – Beach Boys (2:55)
    • Never Alone – Jim Brickman feat Lady Antebellum (3:42)
    • Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder (6:34)
    • Just The Way You Are – Billy Joel (4:51)

    The Anniversary Dance

    Wedding anniversary dance at Alaska Native Heritage Center - Photo credit Chugach Peaks Photography
    The anniversary dance is a nice ice breaker to get some of your guests on the dance floor. It is a dance that honors the wedding anniversaries of the couples in attendance. During this dance, your DJ will use a process of elimination and determine who the longest married couple is. It starts with your DJ inviting all (married or non-married) couples to join the bride and groom on the dance floor for a slow dance. After about a minute, the DJ weeds out the younger couples by asking those who have not been together for ___ number of years and to please leave or step to the side of the dance floor. Within 10-15 second increments, the number of years are increased until we get to the last and longest together couple on the dance floor. We have seen couples that have been married to one another for over 62 years, so we make sure to collectively obtain as much information on those couples that may win this acknowledgement. These long lasting unions are an inspiration to us all. At times, the bouquet is awarded as a prize. The DJ may also approach the last couple and ask to see if they can give the newly married couple some words of advice on a long lasting marriage. The anniversary dance is a great reception idea as it involves many of your guests and makes for a great photo.

    When choosing that perfect song, think about which married couple may be the longest married. What was their wedding song? The DJ will normally just invite married couples but have on many occasions, invited all couples. Eventually, those that are not married will be eliminated and we will be left with the married couples. When choosing a song, think of the longest married couple and wonder what there first dance song was? Choose a song that everyone will know as a bad song choice can deter a couple from joining in the fun. Here are a few suggestions

    Remember When – Alan Jackson (4:31)
    I Cross My Heart – George Strait (3:31)
    Endless Love – Lionel Ritchie & Diana Ross (4:26)
    Up Where We Belong – Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes (3:54)
    Tonight I Celebrate My Love For you – Peabo Bryson & Roberto Flack (3:31)
    I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston (4:32)
    Have I Told you Lately – Van Morrison (4:20)
    Groovy Kind of Love – Phil Collins (3:30)
    Always – Midnight Star (3:48)
    At Last – Etta James (3:00)
    When a Man Loves a Woman – Percy Sledge (2:58
    You Send Me – Sam Cooke (2:46)
    Stand By Me – Ben E. King (3:00)

    Open Dance Music

    Wedding Dance Floor at Kahiltna Ballroom at Alyeska Resort
    This is one of the main reasons you are hiring an experienced and professional wedding DJ aka ONDAGO DJ Entertainment. We have the ability to read your crowd and are open to song requests during the celebration. We satisfy most song requests by having a massive library with today’s hits and yesterday’s goodies. Its one thing to have a ton of music, but its more important on having the knowledge on what songs to play at the right moment. We know what’s hot and what’s not, trust in your DJ to take care of you and your guests.

    In the planning stages to the wedding, we look to gain insight on where some of your guests are arriving from or maybe some cultural aspects.

    Please note in regards to a Do Not Playlist: We understand that there are some very cheesy songs out there and it is not our style to openly play them. Please keep in mind that the possibility that your guest may request that specific song and the DJ will have to let them know that there song was blacklisted by the couple. We then see that the bride is pulled over to the DJ booth to give the o.k. to play. So, with that in mind, we suggest to have two lists…

    Do Not Playlist, unless requested: may include line dances, YMCA, Macarena, Sweet Caroline etc.

    Do Not Playlist, no matter what: may include songs from previous relationships, etc.

    Slow Dance Requests

    Wedding Slow Dance at Bayshore Clubhouse - Photo credit Chugach Peaks Photography
    This day is a celebration of love for one another and it definitely needs a handful of slow dances. As a DJ, we use these dances to help start off a cold dance floor, to allow guests to catch there breath from an upbeat dance session, or simply to help two single people hook up! We have the ability to play any slow song of our choice, but we are here for you and your guests. This day is about you two, so give us about 4-6 slow songs that you would enjoy slow dancing to. If not for yourselves, how about a wedding song from another couple that may be attending your wedding.

    Bouquet Toss

    Wedding Bouquet Toss at Alaska Native Heritage Center - Photo credit Chugach Peaks Photography
    Its now time for the bouquet toss and the DJ needs to play a song that gets your single ladies to the dance floor. Choose a song that fits best you or something that excites! Your DJ will coordinate and invite all the single ladies to the floor, the DJ will make sure you are in perfect photo position before we countdown your toss.

    • Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani
    • Little White Church – Little Big Town
    • Need You Tonight – INXS
    • WANNABE – Spice Girls
    • Girls – Beastie Boys
    • Independent Women – Destiny’s Child
    • Short Skirt/Long Jacket – Cake
    • Sex & The City Theme Song
    • This One’s for the Girls – Martin McBride
    • Feel Like a Woman – Shania Twain
    • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
    • Single Ladies – Beyonce
    • Its Raining Men – The Weather Girls
    • Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar
    • Ladies Night – Kool & the Gang
    • Wannabee – Spice Girls
    • Move B***h – Ludacris feat. Mystikal (clean version)
    • Whatta Man – Salt-N-Pepa
    • California Gurls – Katy Perry
    • Any Man of Mine – Shania Twain
    • Dancing Queen – ABBA
    • Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) (Beyonce)
    • Material Girl – Madonna
    • Who Let The Dogs Out (Baha Men)
    • Lady Marmalade – Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya & Pink

    Garter Toss

    Normally following the bouquet toss, its now the guys turn to man up and compete in catching the bride’s garter. The garter is a symbol of the couple’s consummation and the catcher is a witness to this! ONDAGO DJ Entertainment will guide everyone through this tradition by inviting the single men to the floor an through the actual toss, we’ll make sure to keep the excitement! Here are some suggestions for the garter toss songs.

    • Another One Bites The Dust – Queen
    • Let’s Get It On – Gaye, Marvin
    • Danger Zone – Loggins, Kenny
    • Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
    • Hot In Herre – Nelly
    • Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top
    • Sexy And I Know It – Lmfao
    • Legs – ZZ Top
    • Cherry Pie – Warrant
    • Theme From Mission: Impossible – Clayton, Adam & Larry Mullen
    • Sexyback – Timberlake, Justin
    • Foxey Lady – Hendrix, Jimi
    • You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC
    • U Can’t Touch This – Hammer, M.C.
    • Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor
    • Pony – Ginuwine
    • Big Pimpin’ – Jay-Z Feat. Ugk
    • Whatta Man – Salt-N-Pepa
    • Oh Yeah – Yello
    • Keep Your Hands To Yourself (Georgia Satellites)
    • You Sexy Thing (Hot Chocolate)
    • Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) (Beyonce)
    • Milkshake (Kelis)
    • Who Let The Dogs Out (Baha Men)
    • Hot For Teacher (Van Halen)

    Cutting of the Cake

    There are a lot of reasons why the bride and groom cut a cake at a wedding. It goes way back to Roman Empire era. Times have changed and we cut cake to signify one of the first things a bride and groom do together as a married couple. We suggest that you have the bride’s and groom’s hand on the cake knife as you cut into the sugar filled confection. This makes for great photos. You don’t always need a song for the cake cutting, but if you do…here are some ideas.

    • Cake By the Ocean – DNCE
    • Sweetest Love – Robin Thicke
    • Sugar, Sugar – Archies
    • How Sweet It Is – James Taylor
    • How Sweet It Is – Michael Buble
    • Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
    • I Can’t Help Myself – Four Tops
    • L-O-V-E – Nat King Cole
    • L-O-V-E – Joss Stone
    • Lucky – Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat
    • Honey Bee – Blake Shelton
    • Better Together – Jack Johnson
    • Sweetest Thing – U2
    • When I’m 64 – Beatles
    • Marry You – Bruno Mars
    • 1,2,3,4 (I Love You) – Plain White T’s
    • Cut The Cake – Average White Band
    • Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar
    • Love You Madly – Cake
    • Marry Me – Train
    • I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
    • You Are The Best Thing – Ray Lamontagne
    • You’re My Best Friend – Queen
    • Love And Marriage – Frank Sinatra
    • Everything – Michael Buble
    • Ho Hey – Lumineers
    • Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not – Thompson Square
    • I Do – Colbie Caillat

  • Cocktail Hour Music
  • Grand Entrance
  • Dinner Music
  • The First Dance
  • Father and Daughter Dance
  • Mother and Son Dance
  • Anniversary Dance
  • Open Dance Requests
  • Slow Dance Requestsv
  • Bouquet Toss
  • Garter Toss
  • Cutting of the cake
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